Pella Police received another report of an attempted scam this week, this time targeting an elderly resident. According to the call report, the recipient of the phone call was informed by the scammer that their grandchild was being held hostage and would be released after money was sent to a specified address using a money order service.
Pella Police Officer Paul Haase says this is a common scam and is often referred to as the “Grandparent Scam,” and says often the scammer requests confidentiality.
“They will request that you keep it just between you and them, and that they need you to send money to them, right away, by using a money order,” says Haase. “[They] will ask you several times to not contact other family members, that they don’t want this getting out to the rest of the family, and that’s how this kind of scam is perpetrated.”
Other variations of the scam include a person claiming to be a grandchild that is in some sort of legal trouble, often in a foreign country. Officer Haase urges residents to be leery of unknown people requesting money and to take the time to confirm with other family members if a grandchild is in trouble. He also asks people to report any suspicious calls to the Pella Police Department.